Washington Ski And Snowboard Resort Guide
It doesn’t just rain in Washington, in fact, the Cascade Mountains receive huge amounts of snow, creating great opportunities for skiing and snowboarding in Washington state. From Mount Baker’s world record snowfall, to Crystal Mountain at the foot of Mount Rainier, Washington’s ski and snowboard resorts are among the best in the country.
Not many know that you can ski near Seattle, but there are several ski areas within an hour or two from the city. Snowboarding in Washington has a deephistory as well - Mt. Baker was one of the first ski areas in the US to allow single plankers (aka snowboarders). We’ve put together a list of the best snowboard and ski resorts in Washington state to help you find your next winter resort destination.
Washington Ski Resorts Map
Catch scenic views of Mt. Rainer from the top of the gondola and enjoy the 468” of annual snowfall less than two hours from Seattle. Crystal mountain has the complete package, great terrain, bountiful snow, and something for everyone. Crystal is the largest ski and snowboard resort in Washington State with a total of 2,600 acres and over 50 named runs. It is also one of the more developed ski areas, with a full array of amenities. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will love the Northway lift, and the hike-to terrain off of Chair 6. Have no fear if you’re new to snowboarding and skiing however, Crystal has plenty of beginner and family friendly options making it a top choice for many skiers and snowboarders in Washington state.
The Summit at Snoqualmie
has a lot to offer with four different base areas, night skiing, and great family infrastructure, all less than an hour from Seattle. Spread across Summit West, Summit Central, Summit East, Hyak, and Alpental the Summit has nearly 2,000 skiable acres, with a quarter of that, 500 acres, lit for night skiing. Alpental is known for it’s great powder riding, with multiple backcountry gates that access steep and snowy terrain. West, Central, and East meanwhile, feature one of the best terrain parks around with tons of rail and jump options, as well as more laid back terrain that is accessible to skiers and snowboarders of any level.
holds the world record for the most snowfall in a year with over 1,100” inches falling in the 1998-1999 winter. Located about three hours from Seattle and one hour from Bellingham, the Mt. Baker Ski Area has a long history of deep powder, awesome backcountry access, and a unique local community feel. Hosting events like the legendary Baker Banked Slalom and large backcountry gatherings this ski and snowboard area is a must hit for powder hounds. Mt Baker averages an amazing 658” of annual snowfall, with plenty of terrain to give even the most advanced skiers and snowboarders a challenge. Experience the legend yourself and plan a trip to Mt Baker!
One of the closest ski areas to Seattle, Stevens Pass
is also one of the best ski and snowboard areas in Washington. With skiing and snowboarding for everyone, Stevens is family friendly, has one of the biggest and most diverse terrain parks in the state, and has some great skiing for those big powder hounds. Due to it’s location in the Cascade mountains, Stevens tends to get cooler weather and lighter snow, which can make a big difference in wet Washington. 460” of annual snowfall and 1,125 acres of skiable terrain give you plenty of options, however the area’s proximity to Seattle does mean that it can get pretty crowded on the weekends. Polish your skills in the beginner area, jib the terrain parks, or shred the steeps off of the 7th Heaven chairlift, the options will last longer than your legs.
The family-oriented White Pass ski area offers a great environment to introduce anyone to the wonders of the cascade mountains. Just over two hours from Seattle, White Pass offers a multitude of family focused pricing options, lessons and more on their 1,500 skiable acres with over 2,000 feet of vertical drop.
Located on the sunny, AKA eastern, side of Washington state, Mission Ridge is another smaller snowboard and ski area in Washington State. Higher elevation and sunshine make for light snow and more bluebird days on the ski area’s 2,000 skiable acres. Mission Ridge is a bit farther from Seattle at just under three hours away, however, it’s only 20 minutes out of Wenatchee, making for a great weekend ski or snowboard getaway. The rope tow accessed terrain park lets those freestylers in the family get in lap-after-lap without waiting for a chairlift.
Hurricane Ridge is a truly unique skiing and snowboarding experience. Not only is it one of a shrinking number of small, family-run ski areas in the country, but it’s also one of two ski and snowboard areas operating inside of a national park. Located in the heart of the Olympic National Park, about three hours from Seattle, depending on when you catch the ferry, Hurricane Ridge sits a mile high with panoramic views of the Puget Sound. This hidden gem can pick up big storms, and has some great backcountry access as well. Hurricane Ridge is definitely off the beaten path, but worth a visit without doubt.
49 Degrees North ski area is located in the eastern part of the state, roughly over an hour from Spokane. The ski area has over 2,000 skiable acres and features a full list of amenities including lessons, equipment rental, slope-side dining, daycare, and a terrain park. The skiing off of 5,700’ Chewelah Peak has tons of gladed options for advanced skiers and boarders alike.
There aren’t a ton of mom and pop ski and snowboard areas left out there, but Bluewood is one of them. Locals say if you return you lift ticket by 11 a.m. and you’re not stoked on the current day conditions, you’ll get a voucher for another day. Bluewood sits in the Southeastern corner of the state, and has two triple chairlifts that serves the 1,100 feet of vertical. Pro tip: bring a six pack of Pepsi cans (full or empty) on any Thursday and get yourself a 2 for 1 ticket.
Mount Spokane ski and snowboard area is a non-profit community ski area just under an hour drive from the city of Spokane. Five chairlifts service both beginner and advanced terrain. Affordable lift tickets, and a huge terrain park make this little community driven area an Eastern Washington gem.
Explore More Resorts